Today, the scope of the telecommunication industry gives rise to a variety of jobs that require specific skills and training profiles. The jobs mainly pertain to the installation of telecommunication equipment, its maintenance, and repair.
Some aspects of these jobs are complex and need careful handling. Among the most difficult and risk-prone jobs is that of a telecommunication tower rigger or cable worker who works in tough settings and faces risky situations. Here is a detailed profile of this profession.
What Does A Telecommunication Tower Rigger Do?
Telecommunication towers are approximately 1500 feet in height. A tower rigger, also called a cable worker, is trained to work on these tall towers. They carry out this work weighed down with heavy, unwieldy equipment, tools as well as safety gear. They work at great heights in open spaces in all types of weather conditions, performing complex and dangerous jobs of maintaining and repairing networking hardware.
Riggers work within a team of two to four men. One professional telecommunication tower rigger waits at ground level to keep a watchful eye on other team members to assist them if required. The other members of the cable worker team perform jobs like inspection, installation, repair, and maintenance at different heights.
Responsibilities Of A Cable Worker
A professional cable worker is required to demonstrate a number of skill sets and is trained to assume multiple responsibilities. He is qualified as a rigger after rigorous and comprehensive training for several months. Look at their job profile as a professional:
- Installation– A telecommunication tower rigger has the important job of installing new connections skillfully without disturbing old ones. He has to haul a huge load of installation equipment, wires and tools like hammers, spanners etc. to the top of the tower to set up new connections. He climbs down from the tower after conducting a double check on the secure working of the new line.
- Maintenance– Communication towers need regular inspection and maintenance. It is a part of the line worker’s job to thoroughly inspect the installed systems, locate damaged and worn out portions and carry out repairs and replacements to ensure the system is working smoothly. Regular maintenance ensures that the system works efficiently and clients enjoy uninterrupted communication facility.
- Repairs – When a connection is disrupted or system breakdown occurs, a rigger has to identify the reason and conduct repairs to restore communication. Trained riggers have complete knowledge of network systems, are efficient & quick to identify a problem.
The riggers also handle other jobs such as decommissioning and dismantling defunct towers. They remove the reusable component from the dismantled towers and send them to the telecommunication company.
A Telecommunication Tower Rigger Job Is Risky
As the riggers climb with a huge load and work at great heights, their job is inherently risky. As the networks become more complex with advanced technology, their job too is becoming more complex. Some of the risks involved are:
- Safety – Undoubtedly, a riggers job is one of the riskiest jobs and safety is a real concern. Present day towers are not easy to climb because they lack attached climbing equipment as the older ones did.
- Storage Of Radio Equipment- Modern towers have a provision for placing the radio equipment at the highest end of the tower. They serve the purpose of maximizing the rigger’s reach. But it compromises their safety while working at that height.
- Carrying Testing Equipment – The workers have to carry valuable testing equipment to the top of the tower for analysis, adding to their risk.
As you can see, a telecommunication tower rigger’s job is crucial, complex, and challenging. It is the backbone that supports the efficient functioning of a modern communication network.